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How to make homemade ice cream | Homemade ice cream recipes

Updated on May 11, 2016

Fresh homemade ice cream is incredibly easy to make. Today's countertop ice cream machines are fast, quiet, easy to clean, and very affordable. When you make your own ice cream or sorbet, you control the ingredients! You surely won’t be adding preservatives, artificial flavors, or the infamous Red Dye #2.

But, you surely will be adding chocolate chips, fresh cherries, chopped up peanut butter cups, strawberries, pecans, M&M’s®, blueberries, malted milk balls...

Maybe you’ll even put some sprinkles on top.

Make your own ice cream using these basics

Yes, it is true. Ice cream, like life, is not fair. The smoothest, most rich ice cream is made using the heaviest cream. If you are calorie conscious, you can tweak the proportions of cream, whole or low-fat milk, evaporated milk, or even half & half until you find a happy medium. For a detailed explanation, read Whipping cream or buttermilk? It's more or less butterfat

Eggs are used to stabilize and provide a very nice texture. Ice cream that is made without eggs does not tend to store well in the freezer and should be eaten right away. If you don’t plan to cook the mixture, you can buy pasteurized eggs.


Sweeteners come in many forms. Pure sugar is preferred, but there are many recipes that use sugar substitutes for the carb-conscious. Other sweetening options include honey and maple syrup.

Overrun is the amount of air that is added to the mix as it is churned. Overrun is the key to quality ice cream. Most store bought ice creams contain 50% air (the legal limit in the US). Yes, that means each spoonful is half air. Premium and super-premium ice cream contain as little as 20% air. Thus, the heavier the ice cream, the better the quality.

Before you churn, be sure you've done all the prep. Check your machine's manual for pre-freezing instructions. Counter-top ice cream makers use a mixing bowl that is filled with a freezing agent that must be frozen before you churn. This can take up to 12 hours or more, depending on your model.

Your mix must also be chilled. Putting hot or even room temperature mix into the machine will result in poor quality ice cream (if it churns at all). The mix should ideally be chilled below 40º before you churn. Don't skimp on the chill time people!

Ice cream makers produce soft serve ice cream. To harden it, you'll need a few more hours in the freezer. Be sure to use an airtight cover so the ice cream won't pick up other flavors.

On to the recipes, then!

Classic homemade chocolate ice cream recipe

This classic is great for first timers. There are no eggs to temper, and if you use a food processor, there is a very short prep time. Which type of chocolate is the best for this recipe? Use your own personal favorite!


Classic Chocolate


  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream (keep chilled)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 8oz Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Pinch of Salt


Counter top instructions

Break the chocolate into 1/2 inch pieces. Using a blender or a food processor (with the metal blade), pulse the chocolate along with the sugar and salt until it is very finely chopped.

Heat the milk in the microwave until it is scalded - you’ll see very fine bubbling around the edges. Add the milk to the chocolate and process until the mix is smooth and creamy.

Transfer the mix into a medium bowl, covered tightly, and park it in the fridge until it is completely chilled. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla*, then chill it for a few more hours.

Stove top instructions

Break up the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler. Use hot, but not boiling, water. Slowly whisk in the milk and stir constantly until the mix is smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool down.

Whisk the sugar, salt and vanilla into the heavy cream. Add to the chocolate mix, then cover and let it chill in the fridge.

Churn according to your machine’s instructions. Makes ten 1/2 cup servings.

*If you put in the vanilla extract while the mix is still hot, it will just evaporate away without adding flavor.

Watch your temper...

What happens when you add an egg to hot liquid?
It cooks, of course.

Unless you are trying to make scrambled eggs floating in hot milk, you’ll need to temper the eggs.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. When it is time to add the eggs, don’t put them in the pan. Instead, take a small amount of the hot liquid out of the pan and add it to the bowl.
Stir quickly. The liquid will cool, and the eggs will slowly warm up. Add more liquid from the pan, again stirring quickly. Repeat several times until your egg mixture is warm enough to add to the pan without the danger of scrambling.

Be sure your eggs cook to a minimum temperature of 160º.

Diabetic friendly homemade ice cream

Strawberries and raspberries give this ice cream recipe a double dose of berry flavor with only 14 carb grams per serving*.

Berry Berry Frozen Dairy


  • 4 Cups Whole Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 Package (16oz) Frozen Unsweetened Strawberries OR 4 Cups Fresh Strawberries

  • 1 Package (12oz) Frozen Unsweetened Raspberries OR 3 Cups Fresh Raspberries

If you are using fresh strawberries, mash them up a bit. Frozen strawberries need to be partially thawed before adding to the mix.


Thaw the orange juice concentrate before you start to cook.

Grab your large saucepan and mix the gelatin and sugar together. Stir in the milk and heat it up until the mixture just begins to boil. Medium heat is best.

Temper the eggs and then cook the mixture to 170º. Stir constantly. This should take about two minutes, so don’t wander off. Be sure not to let it boil.

When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, you’re ready to finish up. Add the berries and OJ. Cover the mix and chill it in the fridge for 6 to 24 hours.

Churn according to your machine’s instructions. This recipe makes 2.5 quarts, so depending on the size of your ice cream maker, you may need to churn it in two batches.

*One serving equals 1/2 cup.

Coffee ice cream recipe

There is nothing worse than a cold cup of coffee. So, if you can’t keep it hot, go on ahead and freeze it!

North Pole Java


  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons High Quality Instant Coffee


Heat the milk and heavy cream (medium heat) to a bare simmer.

Beat the eggs for 1 to 2 minutes before slowly whisking in the sugar. Continue to whisk until completely blended.

Temper the egg mix. When adding the eggs to the pan, put in 2 1/2 tablespoons of the instant coffee.

Cook the mix on low heat until it reaches 170º. When it coats the back of a spoon, the mix is ready to chill. Let it cool a bit and add the vanilla. Cover tightly and stash it in the fridge for a few hours.

Churn according to your machine’s instructions. After the ice cream has stiffened, about two to three minutes before the churning is complete, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of instant coffee. Makes ten 1/2 cup servings.


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